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Vote Yourself Off This Island

Posted by on February 5th, 2013 with 0 Comments

Everyone wants to judge, while no one wants to be judged.

That sets up an interesting contradiction, because the judge always gets judged on their judgment.

Judging is a lonely job in which a man is, as near as may be, an island entire.
– Abe Fortas

Managers know this.

Writing evaluations for your employees is a lonely, lonely job.
Only you can write the words, because only you will be around to answer the questions and deal with the fallout.

Yep, that’s right, using a book like “Perfect Phrases for Performance Reviews” is lame. It’s the managerial equivalent of use a book of pickup lines to meet a girl.

Your employees are smart enough to know you don’t actually talk like that. And they’re not your spouse, so they don’t actually need to be fed fake, flowery Hallmark drivel once a year.

For these reasons, I took myself out of the judging business many years ago.

How?

Not by firing all of my employees. Then I’d have to do their work!
And not by eliminating the review process. Reviews are useful, when done correctly.

I did it by writing SMART as Hell goals.
As a result, I don’t judge my performers; the goals do.

Instead of saying, “you’re good” or “you need improvement”, I ask, “How did you do against your goals?”
The answer to that question is all we need.

Now, I’m no longer the judge, because I voted myself off that island.

SMART as Hell Exercise

How could you use goals to vote your (inner or outer) judge ‘off the island’?
Share your responses below.

 

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